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Hong Kong Digest

April 15, 2024

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Secretary Christopher Hui visits New York and Chicago

The Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury Christopher Hui visited New York and Chicago (Apr 8 – 12, 2024) to promote Hong Kong’s financial services and professional services sectors and updated the US business and finance community and academics on the latest developments in Hong Kong.


While in New York, Mr Hui attended the roundtable luncheon with the National Committee on United States-China Relations, visited the New York Stock Exchange, and spoke at a luncheon co-organised by the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in New York (HKETONY) and the Asia Society. He also met the Founder of Bloomberg LP & Bloomberg Philanthropies Michael Bloomberg to discuss Hong Kong’s policy initiatives to turn the city into a global center for philanthropy, and the financial means to resolve the challenges brought about by climate change. In Chicago, Mr Hui met with businesspeople and university scholars and highlighted development opportunities in fintech and green and sustainable finance. 


On April 8, Mr Hui met with members of the Hong Kong community during a reception hosted by the HKETONY, and supported by the Hong Kong Association of New York. He kept abreast of the lives of businesspeople and students there and pointed out that Hong Kong remains a magnet for global business, investment and talent. Delivering welcome remarks at the reception, Director of HKETONY Maisie Ho highlighted the efforts by the HKETONY to connect with the Hong Kong community in New York and the other 30 eastern states of the US.

Mr Hui was the guest of honor at the spring reception in Chicago (Apr 11), co-organised by the HKETONY and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council. He gave the 150 guests from academic, political, business and finance fields, as well as legal sectors in Illinois a brief update on the latest developments and opportunities in Hong Kong, particularly on Hong Kong’s economy and its financial services sector. Welcoming the guests, Ms Ho highlighted the close ties between the two cities. “A global finance and business hub, Chicago and the State of Illinois are trading partners of Hong Kong,” she said, adding that universities in Chicago and Illinois were partnering with Hong Kong universities, with the University of Chicago operating a Hong Kong campus.


Hong Kong Sevens a roaring success

The iconic Hong Kong Sevens (Apr 5-7) saw some 100,000 local and global fans enjoying three days of dramatic and fun rugby action at the Hong Kong Stadium, as the world’s premier Sevens tournament returned to its very best. This marked the final edition the tournament to be held at the Stadium as it will be staged at the brand-new Kai Tak Sports Park in 2025. Rugby powerhouse New Zealand claimed both the men’s and women’s championship titles for the second year running, while the Hong Kong men’s team overcame Japan to win the Melrose Claymores title.


HSBC held Inaugural Global Investment Summit

HSBC held a three-day (Apr 8-10) inaugural Global Investment Summit immediately following the Hong Kong Sevens, drawing over 4,000 high-profile institutional investors, corporate leaders and wealth managers from some 40 countries and regions. Addressing the audience, Chief Executive John Lee applauded HSBC for establishing itself as the very first bank in Hong Kong back in 1865, casting a vote of confidence in this part of the world, which has since then grown to become a truly global bank, serving more than 40 million customers from over 60 countries and territories. He also provided audiences on Hong Kong’s updates in finance, innovation and technology, and arts and culture, which demonstrated its resilience and perseverance as an economy, as a financial centre, as a global city, and as home to the “Lion Rock spirit” - the “can-do” spirit that speaks to the persistence of the people of Hong Kong.

Digital Economy Summit to forge sustainable future

Over 4,000 participants from close to 40 countries/regions attended the two-day Digital Economy Summit (DES) 2024 (Apr 12-13) in Hong Kong to gather insights from over 100 renowned technology visionaries, industry pioneers and business leaders on how cutting-edge technologies and innovative applications were reshaping the urban landscape and modern digital economy from the perspectives of sustainability, connectivity, and resilience. Addressing the Visionary Forum at DES, Financial Secretary Paul Chan said Hong Kong was charting its course in digital economy under five major pillars: strengthening the city’s overall digital policy; strengthening digital infrastructure; facilitating local and cross-boundary data flow; expediting digital transformation and developing a sustainable talent strategy.

International Conference on Central Bank Digital Currencies and Payment Systems held

Over 100 representatives from central banks, international bodies, academia, financial institutions and fintech firms attended the International Conference on Central Bank Digital Currencies and Payment Systems (Apr 11), co-organised by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), the Hong Kong Institute for Monetary and Financial Research, and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. The Chief Executive of the HKMA Eddie Yue said the conference had been an excellent opportunity to garner the insights of leading experts to holistically develop a vision for the future of money, and to align key stakeholders in establishing a strong foundation for the next frontier of financial innovation. “As a regulator, we will continue to be open-minded, responsive and prudent as part of upholding Hong Kong's position as a leading financial center,” he added.

Business sentiment improves

Overall business sentiment among Hong Kong’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and their expectations on the business situation in one month’s time showed further improvement in March. The current diffusion index (DI) on business receipts amongst SMEs increased from 43.9 in February 2024 in the contractionary zone to 45.5 in March 2024. The current DI on new orders for the import and export trades increased from 43.8 in February 2024 to 47.4 in March 2024.


Global talent summit set for May

To promote regional exchanges and co-operation in talent attraction, the Global Talent Summit · Hong Kong will be held May 7-8, bringing together international and Mainland Chinese leaders from political, academic, business and other sectors to exchange trends and experiences in talent development, with a view to promoting Hong Kong’s dual role and advantages as an international talent hub and the country’s gateway for talent. The event will bring together Mainland and overseas government representatives, scholars, business leaders and representatives of various trades and human resources agencies, aiming to showcase Hong Kong’s distinctive advantages of enjoying the strong support of the motherland and being closely connected to the world under the “one country, two systems” principle as well as the charm of an international talent hub to the world. It will also promote talent exchanges and co-operation in the international arena and the bay area to forge ahead with the high-quality development of Hong Kong and the bay area, and build a superb talent hub in the region together. Online preregistration for the expo is now open, while the forum and the conference will be webcast live to domestic and foreign talent, and to the public. The latest updates of the summit and the expo can be found on the summit’s website or Hong Kong Talent Engage’s WeChat, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram for the latest updates of the summit and the expo.


Registration opens for Hong Kong Performing Arts Expo

Registration for the upcoming Hong Kong Performing Arts Expo, to be held Oct 14- 18, has opened. The expo aims to encourage East-meets-West exchanges between arts institutions and practitioners in the region and beyond and offers opportunities for professionals to meet and exchange ideas. Various programs, international showcases, pitch sessions, talks, exhibitions and networking activities will foster artistic dialogue on a global scale. Don’t miss this opportunity to be a part of this unforgettable international performing arts event and take advantage of early bird discount available through Jul 14!

Celebrating Songkran in Hong Kong

Hong Kong’s Thai community celebrated the Songkran Festival, marking the Thai New Year in two districts in Kowloon - Lai Chi Kok (Apr 4-8) and Kowloon City (Apr 12-14). The events featured an exciting line-up of programs, including water splashing, Muay Thai (Thai boxing) competition, music, dance and parades. Here are the highlight photos.


US, Canada’s updated travel advice rejected

In response to the US and Canada’s foreign travel advice updates which claimed that the risks of travelling to Hong Kong would increase after the Safeguarding National Security Ordinance ordinance comes into effect, the HKSAR Government stated (Apr 13) that the HKSAR law enforcement agencies have been taking law enforcement actions based on evidence and strictly in accordance with the law in respect of the acts of the persons concerned. The extraterritorial effect of the law is in line with those of other countries and regions around the world, including the US and Canada. The claims of 'arbitrary enforcement' and 'wrongful detention' is fact-twisting and scaremongering. HKSAR has always welcomed ordinary travelers and businessmen, and if they do not conduct acts and activities endangering national security and not unwittingly violate the law, they have no reason to be worried. 

Did you know...

The Basic Law (BL) is the constitutional document of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR). It provides the guarantees to maintain our existing way of life, including socio-economic development, the rights and duties of Hong Kong people, the rule of law and other areas. Article 23 of the BL stipulates that the HKSAR shall enact laws on its own to prohibit any act of treason, secession, sedition, subversion against the Central People’s Government, or theft of state secrets, to prohibit foreign political organisations or bodies from conducting political activities in the HKSAR, and to prohibit political organisations or bodies of the HKSAR from establishing ties with foreign political organisations or bodies.


Q: Will I violate the new Safeguarding National Security Ordinance if I belong to an organisation within the definition of “external forces” in the Ordinance?

A: No. Being an “external force” as defined in the Ordinance in itself is not an offence. An offence could only be committed by a person if he or she colludes or collaborates with an external force with an intent to bring about “a deterrence effect” to endanger national security using “improper means”. Actions that constitute “improper means” include making a false representation, using or threatening violence or damage to one’s property or reputation, and so on. These are improper actions that are not condoned in any jurisdictions.

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